Masters degrees in Petroleum Engineering equip postgraduates with the skills to extract, process and refine petroleum for domestic and industrial use.
Taught MSc degrees are typical for the field, though research oriented MRes and MPhil programmes may also be available at some institutions Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant Engineering subject.
Courses in this field train you in the industry processes involved in the production of gas and oil. You will build your understanding on reservoir engineering, drilling and well analysis and hydrocarbon production through a range of techniques.
For example, research may include studying the properties of rocks, gauging saturation and fluid flow using equipment such as digitised contact angle apparatus and thermos-gravimetric apparatus.
You will also gain an understanding of petroleum geoscience, which may include methods in GIS (geographical information systems) and lab work, investigating matters such as mud density.
Expertise in this field may be applied to a range of industrial practices, including offshore engineering and maintenance of submarine systems, legislative roles in large utility companies, as well as positions in service companies and consultancies.
This programme will provide you with the advanced knowledge and skills to pursue a successful career in the oil and gas industry.
You’ll study modules covering core topics related to the downstream activities of the industry including drilling and production technology, oilfield chemistry and corrosion, and chemical reaction processes. You’ll also have the option to take modules in topics such as separation processes, process optimisation and control, and multi-scale modelling and simulation.
Practical work supports your lectures and seminars, as you split your time between the lab and the classroom. You’ll also undertake a major research project investigating a specific topic in petroleum production engineering, which could relate to your own interests or career intentions. Taught by experts in our world-class facilities, you’ll gain the knowledge and skills to thrive in a challenging and exciting industry.You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of chemical and process engineering. We have facilities for characterising particulate systems for a wide range of technological materials, as well as facilities for fuel characterisation, environmental monitoring and pollution control. In our Energy Building, you’ll find an engine testing fuel evaluation and transport emissions suite and other characterisation equipment.
We are seeking accreditation from the Energy Institute.
Most of the course revolves around core modules, giving you a range of knowledge relating to different aspects of downstream petroleum production processes. These will include chemical reaction processes, drilling and production technologies and oilfield chemistry and corrosion.
You’ll look at the principles of process performance analysis, refining theory, enhanced oil recovery, chemicals used in corrosion control and strategies for new or mature assets. On top of this, you’ll take an optional module that allows you to develop your knowledge in an area that suits your own interests.
In the summer months you’ll undertake a research project, which will demonstrate the skills you’ve gained and may even be linked to your future career plans.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Petroleum Production Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Examples of project topics would include:
A proportion of research projects are formally linked to industry, and can include spending time at the collaborator’s site over the summer.
The programme’s main focus is on downstream petroleum industry activities such as drilling, production, refining and distribution.
With an MSc degree in Petroleum Production Engineering you could expect to pursue a successful career in the oil and gas industries in a wide range of areas as diverse as field engineering, production drilling engineering, pipeline and transportation logistics, refinery operations and management, refinery control and optimisation, and sales and marketing.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
This programme will equip you with the essential knowledge for engineering careers in the oil, gas and petrochemical sectors.
Upon completion of the course you will have gained a comprehensive understanding of oil refining and associated downstream processing technologies, operations and economics; process safety and operations integrity; and methods for the optimal design of process systems.
You will learn about the general economics of the energy sector, oil exploration and production, as well as renewable energy systems.
Furthermore, your study of the various aspects of petroleum refining will be augmented by unique work assignments at a virtual oil-refining and chemical company.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme aims to provide a highly vocational education that equips the students with the essential knowledge and skills required to work as competent engineers in the petrochemical sector.
This is to be achieved through combining proper material in two popular and complementary topics: process systems engineering and petroleum refining. The key objective is to develop a sound understanding of oil refining and downstream processing technologies, process safety and operation integrity, as well as systems methods for the optimal design of process systems.
A balanced curriculum is provided with essential modules from these two areas supplemented by a flexible element by way of elective modules that permit students to pursue subjects of preference relevant to their backgrounds, interests and/or career aspirations.
An integrated approach is taken so as to provide a coherent view that explores the interrelationships between the various components of the programme.
Knowledge and understanding
The programme aims to develop the knowledge and understanding in both petroleum refining and systems engineering. The key learning outcomes include:
Intellectual / cognitive skills
The programme aims to strengthen cognitive skills of the students, particularly in the aspects of problem definition, knowledge and information acquiring, synthesis, and creativity, as collectively demonstrable through the successful completion of the research dissertation.
The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Professional practical skills
The programme primarily aims to develop skills for applying appropriate methods to the design and operation of petroleum refining processes. The key learning outcomes include the abilities to:
Key / transferable skills
The programme aims to strengthen a range of transferable skills that are relevant to the needs of existing and future professionals in knowledge intensive industries irrespective of their sector of operation.
The key learning outcomes include the further development of the skills in the following areas:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.